Brake and win

Josef Agardy,
KTR Brake Systems

He is the technical head of KTR Brake Systems, developing electromechanical brakes for the wind power sector.

Staying in control ...

Brakes for powerful rotors, like those used in wind turbines, perform an important task. They play a significant safety role, for example, by preventing rotor overspeed or by decelerating and stopping the rotor when maintenance work needs to be done. Depending on the turbine’s drive concept, active brake systems controlled by hydraulic pressure are used. KTR Brake Systems GmbH specializes in the production of hydraulic and electromechanical brakes. Companies have always relied on Miba’s innovative products when it comes to brake linings. Josef Agardy, Head of Engineering at KTR Brake Systems, gives us a glimpse into this exciting technology.

An interview with Josef Agardy

Mr. Agardy, what can you tell us about KTR Brake Systems and the collaboration with Miba?
We are a young and high-performing company. We develop and produce hydraulic and electromechanical brake systems. Our strengths lie in our distinct flexibility, which we put into practice every day, as well as our high quality and our proximity to our customers. This is only possible with strong partners like Miba, who aspire to the same standard. Miba was already present in the wind turbine sector back when the first new types of brakes were being developed for this market. The industry is growing rapidly and a supplier like Miba Frictec had and still has the longest experience in this segment. A successful collaboration has developed over time.

What did Miba contribute in detail, and what was particularly valued?
We were very satisfied with the technical advice provided in the run-up to important projects. Apart from supplying components for our serial products, Miba, as a manufacturer of high-quality friction materials, also helps us clarify questions and needs specific to each customer, for example through in-house test series and fast sample deliveries. In this regard, we share the same passion for technological challenges, which is also confirmed by our KTR Competence Center in Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock. Our open and cooperative collaboration with Miba has enabled us to continuously improve our products.

Can you give us a glimpse into the future?
KTR Brake Systems will continue to develop its entrepreneurial future together with Miba. We also want to sell our products in other markets and take advantage of existing synergies in the future. There is considerable potential and by constantly sharing experiences we will make use of the global sales organizations of both companies.

It holds on tight

Wind power is considered one of the most promising regenerative sources of energy given its availability. Innovative high-tech systems aimed at improving efficiency are used for generating energy from wind power.

Yet, at least as much effort and attention is paid to the brake systems. This lies in the fact that brakes, as used in wind turbines, perform important functions: The rotor blades are designed for maximum speed. When the speed limits are reached, for example in a storm, powerful brake systems are used to stop the rotation and prevent damage. The same applies to maintenance work: Safe standstill of the rotor blades is an important factor here, as well. KTR Brake Systems is the newest company of the KTR Group. It was founded in 2014 with the intent of one day becoming the market leader in efficient brake systems. This is a challenge that both KTR developers and their partners face. As for the segment of rotor brakes for wind turbines, KTR Brake Systems has found a reliable partner in Miba Frictec, which contributes high-strength friction materials. Given their innovative input stock and processes, Miba’s products achieve the best friction values, at the same time offering high resistance to wear.
We can see a clear trend in the direction of simple, robust systems. Low maintenance is an important attribute and a critical competitive advantage. The brake systems developed by KTR Brake Systems combined with Miba Frictec’s innovative friction materials impress with high reliability and feature an extremely long service life. Together with low operating costs and highest-possible equipment safety, the result is a successful partnership seeking even more innovative solutions in their continuous optimization process.